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Osinbajo inaugurates wagon assembly plant in Ogun

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday, inaugurated the Wagon Assembly Plant at Kajola in Ifo council area of Ogun as part of efforts to boost the ongoing railway modernisation programme of the federal government.

Osinbajo in his address said the development followed an agreement signed in March 2018 by the federal government with the Chinese rail contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), for the establishment of the wagon assembly plant.

According to the VP,  the plant will subsequently produce rolling stock, wagon, spare parts and maintenance equipment needed for the various railway projects of the federal government across the country.

“This project will serve as a catalyst for national economic growth and development as enshrined in federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“The citing of the plant here in Nigeria and the commitment to hiring Nigerians and Nigerian businesses affirms the president’s directive on executive order 5.

The executive order dwells on priotising Nigerians and Nigerian businesses in the production and procurement of engineering projects and services.

” The plant will offer an important platform for technicians, artisans and others to gain specialised skills for the production and maintenance of rolling stock.

“This will spin up businesses across the country wherever rail network are in existence,” he said.

Osinbajo noted that the railway system had gone beyond an alternative and comfortable mode of travelling, saying ” it holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria and across the African continent”.

The Vice President, therefore, urged the management of the CCECC to move on quickly to the next phase of the project, which according to him, is the construction and assembling coaches and locomotives.

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, in his remarks reiterated the federal government’s commitment to transformation of the nation’s rail system.

He said that the Kajola wagon assembly plant was the first of its kind in Nigeria.

According to him, after completion and commencement of production, the plant is expected to employ nearly 5,000 Nigerians.

The Minister also announced plans by his ministry to optimise the Lagos/Ibadan rail project by extending it to the Apapa port for the efficient movement of cargo from the port to various destinations.

He said the measure would aid importation and exportation of goods and also ease traffic on Nigerian highways.

The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who addressed newsmen after the ceremony, commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the project.

He said the project would enhance the capacity of Ogun being the gateway state to connect other places including Lagos and Ibadan cheaper and more efficiently.

” We will take advantage of the rail line and create industrial hubs, real estates opportunities and shopping centres to enable people to live in Ogun and work in the state or other places.

“We are already a spill – over state to Lagos state and so we will prepare to accommodate more overflows from Lagos,” he said.

Abiodun assured that the state and its people would collaborate with the federal government to ensure the success of the project.

Edited by Felix Ajide

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Buhari receives Special Envoy of President of Equatorial Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, hosted the Special Envoy of the President of Equatorial Guinea, Nguema Mbasogo, at the State House, Abuja.

This was contained in a statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in Abuja.

The statement said the Special Envoy and Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Lima, had brought a message from his president on the forthcoming meeting of Heads of State of gas-exporting nations, which Equatorial Guinea would be hosting.

Receiving the envoy, Buhari declared that if Nigeria had followed her own programme for exploiting its gas reserves, the country would have been earning more money from the product than from petroleum now.

He said: “We share a lot of things in common with Equatorial Guinea. These include geographical neighbourliness and neighbourliness in terms of resources.

“Nigeria is more of a gas producing, rather than oil producing country. That fact had long been established.

“If we had followed our own plans, laid out in the 1970s, for the gas sector, we should have had 12 trains by early 1980s, instead of being on just six trains now,” the president said.

The special envoy thanked Nigeria for the support given to Equatorial Guinea to host the first summit of gas exporting countries in the world, taking place on African soil.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

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RTEAN to adopt President Buhari’s accountability, transparency policies

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The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) says it will adopt the accountability and transparency policies of President Muhammadu Buhari to block leakages in the association.

Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, the North East Zonal Chairman of the RTEAN said this at end of Zonal Executive Council meeting in Bauchi on Tuesday.

Mohammed, represented by the Deputy National President, Planning and logistics, Mohammmed Bishara, said henceforth the association would ensure that its leadership would adopt the policies.

“We have seen a large scale of fraud and diversion of funds into personal account, collection of monies from state chairmen on the pretext of buying buses for the state.

“No state branch has benefitted from any entitlements of the association, pensions and two years salaries for those that worked above 20 years,” he alleged.

The zonal chairman said these were the circumstances in the North East that led to the emergency executive meeting to resolve how to move the association forward.

“We are, therefore, calling on the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related Commission to investigate National headquarters of RTEAN 2009 to date,”.

He reaffirmed the unflinching support to the current officials of the association due to their adherence to the Constitution of the Association in addition to dedication and commitment to service.

Mohammmed however, called on members in the zone to be law abiding pending the outcome of the National Industrial Court ruling over the leadership crisis.

Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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Security: Ogun police sets up citizens’ complaint hot centre

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The Ogun Police Command has established a Citizens’ Complaint Hot Centre, with 10 dedicated telephone lines for expeditious report of crimes and alleged misconduct of its personnel to boost security in the state.

The new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Imohimi Edgal, announced this while addressing newsmen on Tuesday, in Abeokuta.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the 10 lines for the centre are: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and .

Edgal, who resumed duty on Monday, said it had become imperative to set up the centre with the special telephone lines to enhance community policing.

“As part of my strategy to ensure community policing, I have set up a citizens’ complaint hot centre here at the headquarters.

“You cannot have meaningful partnership with people if you do not have their trust. We want partnership with all stakeholders to flush out these bad eggs from the force.

“It is a platform where citizens can call to report crime and to make complaints about any policeman who harasses them or infringes on their fundamental human rights,” he said.

The police commissioner said that he was not unaware of the detestable attitude of a few of the personnel to duties, adding that the present structure would help to checkmate those with such repugnant tendencies.

He said that the command was prepared to partner with the members of the public to fight crime in the state headlong.

Edgal said that he had gone round some communities and noticed low police visibility in most neighbourhoods, adding that such loopholes would be blocked.

According to him, there will be two police pin-down points during the day and three at night in every neighbourhood.

Edited by Martins Odeh and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Fire disaster: Ogun Assembly seeks more fire service stations, equipments

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The Ogun House of Assembly, on Tuesday, passed a resolution, calling for the establishment of more fire service stations and procurement of additional fire equipments to tackle fire incidents in the state.

Mr Sherif Yusuf (APC-Ado Odo-Ota I), the Majority Leader, moved the motion for the adoption of the resolution during plenary in Abeokuta, seconded by Adeniran Ademola (APM-Sagamu II).

Opening debate on the matter, Mr Dare Kadiri (APC-Ijebu North II), the Deputy Speaker, noted that it was important to provide equipment for fire service stations, particularly with the coming of dry season.

Kadiri explained that most of the fire incidents witnessed in the state in the past days would have been minimal, if the fire service stations were well equipped.

He called on the executive arm to, as a matter of urgency, establish more fire service stations and also equip the stations with modern equipments to fight fire disasters.

In his response, Abdul Bashir (APC-Sagamu I), noted that there were more fire incidents during the harmattan season, adding that the procurement of fire service equipments would enable government to prepare for unexpected occurrences.

Abayomi Fasuwa (APC-Ijebu North-East), who noted that the fire service  equipments on ground were grossly inadequate, stressed the need to minimise losses caused by fire incidents.

Fasuwa noted that the procurement of fire service equipments should be put into consideration by the state government in order to reduce loss of lives and property during fire outbreaks.

Other lawmakers, who contributed to the debate, also called for additional fire service stations in strategic areas of the state, especially industrial areas.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Emir urges Muslims to emulate virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

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The Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, retired Justice Sidi Bage, has called on Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in their quest to earn the blessings of Allah.

Bage made the call during the 19th Annual Maulud procession held at his palace in Lafia on Tuesday.

The emir, who spoke through the state Chairman, Tijjaniya Suffi Forum, Ustaz Yahaya Dahiru-Danyiya, said the call became necessary considering the fact that some Muslims practised the religion contrary to the teachings of Islam.

He expressed the need for Muslims to practise the religion in conformity with the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.

He promised to synergise with stakeholders in the education sector to inculcate good virtues in students, as well as give premium to both Islamic and western education

The monarch commended the celebrators for the peaceful and successful conduct of the procession and admonished them to sustain the tempo.

Explaining the rationale behind the Maulud procession, some participants, Ibrahim Musa-Shettima and Malam Muhammad Maikifi, said the event was meant to show the extent of their love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Edited by Joseph Edeh and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Vibrant civil service will ensure vibrant economy – Gov. Sule

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Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has underscored the significance of training civil servants in the state.

According to him, “only a vibrant civil service will ensure a vibrant economy”.

The governor stated this when a delegation from the Zonal Office of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Lafia, visited him on Tuesday.

The Governor restated the commitment of his administration to training and retraining of the work force in the state.

He added that the civil service in the state needed immediate training to meet the government and people’s expectations.

“This administration takes the area of training very seriously, we believe that the only way we can have a very vibrant economy in the state, is when we have a very vibrant civil service.

“If the civil service is ineffective and inefficient, it’s going to be very difficult for us to achieve most of the things we are doing,” Sule stated.

The Governor said Nasarawa State needed to have a civil service that is ICT compliant, computer literate and in tune with what is happening in the global economy.

“If you have a civil service that is still thinking 1960s, 70s then we are not going to be able to move as fast as we can. We continue to drag,” he said.

While promising to partner with the fund, the governor however expressed surprise that the state is not remitting its mandatory one per cent deduction.

Sule then directed the ITF officials to liaise with the Secretary to the State Government, as well as the Head of the State Civil Service, with a view to finding modalities on how the state would key into the training programmes of the fund.

Earlier, Manager, Lafia Area Office of the ITF, Malam Garba Hassan, said they were at the Government House to inform the Governor of their desire to key into the agenda of his administration on youth empowerment, skills acquisition and self-reliance.

Hassan added that the Lafia office has so far trained 900 youths, with each empowered with starter packs for self-reliance.

He stressed that the objective of the fund is to develop human capital in all sectors of the Nigerian economy, while describing the ITF as the foremost training organisation in the country.

The area manager further disclosed that the fund embarked on advocacy lectures across the state, with a view to stimulating the interest of youths towards self-reliance.

He disclosed that the fund derives its revenue from the one per cent deduction from staff emolument of the revenue generating institutions in the private and public sector.

Hassan solicited the support of the Governor towards ensuring that Nasarawa State remits its deductions to the fund.

“We feel that from the first day in office, your first task was to give out start-up packs for self-reliance. We feel we should key into your vision and mission.

“It’s like what we are doing. , you have gingered us more, that this is the direction,” Hassan said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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